NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Smith College has announced plans for its 2021 fall semester, opting for in-person classes beginning September 2.
According to a news release sent to 22News from Smith College, President Kathleen McCartney said the decision was made following the spring semester experience with the increase of access to the COVID-19 vaccine and public health guidance.
“I look forward to meeting our new students and to celebrating the joys of living, learning and working together in this remarkable community,” McCartney wrote in her email to the community. “I hope you are as encouraged and energized as I am by what awaits us this fall.”
One sophomore student told 22News they understand why the school would require the vaccine.
“I think that’s reasonable,” said Victoria Mellow. “I also think by that time, there’s going to be enough vaccination for everyone to have and for everyone to be on campus with that, so I don’t see an issue with that.”
The plan to hold in-person classes include:
- Classes will be taught in person in classrooms, labs, studios and other facilities.
- Housing will return to traditional capacity, and all Smith students will be able to live on campus (unless granted an exception through the off-campus lottery or the normal petition process).
- In-person work schedules for Smith staff and faculty will be implemented in advance of the fall semester.
- Pandemic precautions (e.g., physical distancing, mask wearing) will likely be necessary at some level; details will be released closer to the beginning of the fall semester.
- Smith has strongly urged all community members who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to be vaccinated as soon possible. The college is considering requiring the vaccine for the fall, subject to medical and religious exemptions. If the college opts to require the vaccine, advance notice will be provided.
Smith College will continue to monitor the COVID-19 health and safety protocols and make appropriate changes if needed.